Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beautiful Beasties - Pet Photography Book Review and Giveaway

Beautiful Beasties by Jamie Pflughoeft of Cowbelly pet photography is a fantastic book all about pet photography. It is a how to guide that goes over everything from equipment to use, photography basics, lighting, exposure, composition, challenges, developing, processing, editing, marketing and building a business, etc. This book mostly touches on photographing cats and dogs with a small blip about other pets.

My dog, Prince, is hard to capture on film or digital. I have found his neurotic behavior troublesome. Every time I get out my camera he knows that the red light or flash will illuminate stuff and create shadows. He loves to chase the light and shadows and it drives me and himself completely bonkers. He barks, whines and tries to scratch the floor or nip at the light. I have tried to stop him from doing this, but my husband and kids think it is funny and try to get him to engage in the behavior. My camera isn't the only thing he gets this way with. He also does this with flashlights, rainbow/sun catchers, sunbeams, laser pens, mirror balls, etc. I have yet to figure out a way to rid him of this habit.

I was excited to get this book to see if it had any specific tips for me and photographing him. In the chapter on behavior challenges it goes into neurotic behaviors very briefly. I was hoping for more in depth, but what this book did tell me was still helpful in my situation. It told me to get his energy out before the photo shoot so that maybe he would be more calm and relaxed. It also said to try to let the pet be themselves how ever silly, energetic, or neurotic they may be. If I let him be himself I could capture more of his personality.

I also re-learned a whole lot about photography that I had forgotten from my photography class I took in college and some stuff I hadn't learned about digital cameras and more on editing in Photoshop. I edit my photos in either Gimp or Picasa so I am not as familiar in Photoshop as I'd like to be, but everything seemed very straight forward.

So, here are some of my results...

This picture was washed out because of the lighting and time of day that I was shooting. In Picasa I hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, then brought up the highlights a little and brought the color temperature all the way up.

This photo was Prince at play and one of my favorites I shot. He just pounced toward his rubber chicken toy and I caught him in the action just as he had landed and cocked his head toward the camera. If you look you can see his long floppy ears are still up a little as the wind caught them and as he tossed his head about :)

Here is my mini pony Gizmo. This book also has a short entry about photographing and working with other animals like: horses, small furry rodents, birds, and reptiles/amphibians.

This book taught me a lot and proved to be a very useful guide to photographing animals in a creative way. I am glad I got this book for free to review. It was fun to photograph and experiment with different settings and things. I still have a lot to learn, but this book was definitely a great starting point for beginning pet and animal photography.

You can purchase this book from different retail places for around $17. If you are going to try to photograph your pooch, feline, or other pet friend this holiday season consider this book.

Prize: Win a copy of Beautiful Beasties by Jamie Pflughoeft.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Global Influence for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.


Anne Younger said...

I enjoy taking pictures of the family dog, Bubba

Rose Powell said...


Danielle Simmons said...

I love photographing our dog.

Erinn Sluka said...

Was my Dog who passed 2 weeks ago :-( I am petless now Erinn A

Krystle Smith said...

My dog Carmella!

Denise G said...

If I had to pick just one - birds most likely

ontariohappychick at gmail dot com

KathleenKL said...

love taking pictures of my dog and kids

Melanie Schemanski said...

My goats!

Katrina said...

my pooch, Princess Peach

Kristen said...

I like to photograph my friend's goat Milo...he's a handsome guy!

Mary T said...

I like to photograph our family pets.

lmurley2000 said...

i like the take pictures of my fox terrier